In response to the earthquake in central Mexico March 20, the LCMS established telephone and email contact March 21 with President Alvaro Lopez of the Lutheran Synod of Mexico, a partner church of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.
Lopez told the Rev. Carlos Hernandez that he (Lopez) continues to receive calls from all over the world, as well as from congregations in outlying regions belonging to the Lutheran Synod of Mexico, asking about the effect of Tuesday’s 7.4 magnitude quake. Hernandez is director of Strategic Development (including Hispanic ministries) for the LCMS Office of National Mission.
Hernandez had contacted Lopez at the request of the Rev. Glenn Merritt, LCMS director of Disaster Response.
The U.S. Geological Survey reported the quake struck at noon local time. Its epicenter was some 200 miles south-southeast of Mexico City and about 100 miles west-southwest of Qaxaca, Mexico. The quake also was felt in the resort city of Acapulco.
Lopez reported that the earthquake damaged 800 homes in Mexico City and that 60 of the damaged homes had collapsed.
Hernandez said that he will stay in touch with Lopez as Lopez assesses damage to Lutheran Synod of Mexico congregations and their communities.
Hernandez also reported that Lopez will meet with the Synod of Mexico’s council on Monday, March 26, to discuss a response to the earthquake in Mexico City, Acapulco and especially in Oaxaca, the city closest to the epicenter of the earthquake.
In an email, Merritt said that the LCMS is prepared to grant disaster-response funds as initial assessments of needs are made by Lopez and the Lutheran Synod of Mexico’s council.
Plans to conduct on-site assessment have been postponed until Lopez and the synod’s council conduct their initial assessments, Merritt said.